I recently discovered a coffee that proclaims its goal is to “make you feel good about the coffee you drink.” Denver-based Coda Coffee, founded in 2005 and just named Macro Roaster of the Year for 2014 by Roast Magazine, definitely made me feel good about their coffee. Coda strives to be a better company and to give back in every facet of their organization. The company has its own Farm2Cup certification program in which they work with farmers in developing countries to ensure best practices and quality control. They are a B Corp Certified business, which means they voluntarily meet a higher standard of transparency, accountability and performance as a business. Their coffees are Fair Trade and Organic certified. From their roasting on an efficient Lilla roaster to recycling their burlap bags, the company means business about being responsible.
Coda Coffee was created by brothers Tim and Tommy Thwaites and their father, Tom Sr. Today, the three men and their wives run the company that employees about three dozen workers and produces about 470,000 pounds of coffee a year.
Sampling the coffee
I received two bags of whole beans from Coda Coffee to evaluate. When I retrieved the box from the post office, the delicious coffee smell hit me immediately. I couldn't wait to taste it and I wasn't disappointed. Coda dedicates itself to promoting sustainability and creating “friggin' awesome coffee.” They sent me Guatemala Batzchocola and Nicaragua Bella Aurora to sample. Both coffees sell for $12.95 for a 12-ounce bag.
I loved both varieties, but I think my favorite of the two might be the Guatemalan, which comes from a Mayan Ixil community that was devastated by that country's civil war. The coffee, which was the company's first Farm2Cup coffee has a smooth toasty flavor that makes me feel good about my cup of coffee, as promised. It's probably not the cup of coffee I'd drink to wake me up in the morning, but it is perfect for a lazy Sunday at home or on a cool evening by the fire.
The Nicaraguan offering intrigues me. It almost has a caramel undertone and is a great all-around coffee. As with the Guatemalan variety, there is no bitterness or bad after-taste. It is a smooth cup of coffee. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the coffee, however, is that I can find out when I order it that the land where the beans are grown is owned by a farmer named Agusto Lovo Lopez who has worked the land for 56 years. I appreciate knowing where my food comes from, and coffee is no exception. The Bella Aurora, introduced by Coda in 2013, won the Cup of Excellence of Nicaragua in 2010.
Where can I get Coda Coffee
You can find Coda Coffee in retail locations in Denver and Phoenix. If you aren't lucky enough to live in one of those cities, there are about 200 cafés and restaurants across the country that serve Coda by the cup or you can purchase the coffee online. Most of the Coda Coffee sells for $12.95 or $13.95 per 12-ounce bag, although the Kenya Karatina sells for $16.95 and the 100% Kona sells for $39.95. If you purchase two bags of coffee, the shipping is free. You can choose to receive your coffee already ground or as whole beans. The company even has a program where you select the choices you would like to receive and schedule shipments once a month or every two weeks.
If you're like me and love the company's signature orange color and the simple logo, you can also purchase a variety of products, such as the travel mug ($18) or water bottle ($16).